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Museum of Tropical Queensland is a heritage museum housed in a charming building on Finder's street overlooking Ross Creek in Townsville. The museum is dedicated to discovering and unraveling the natural and cultural legacy of tropical Queensland. The bigger and new museum opened in 2000 in the same site replacing the earlier smaller one. Queensland is home to one of the most diverse flora, and fauna in Australia and the Museum of Tropical Queensland is a great platform that befittingly showcases this diversity. The top attraction of the museum is the gallery exclusive to HMS Pandora that sank in 1791 off the Cape coast when it was en route to capturing the Bounty. The museum is home to an extensive collection of fascinating artifacts recovered from the shipwreck.
Discover Queensland’s rich cultural and natural heritage at the Museum of Tropical Queensland
HMS Pandora remains one of the most important shipwrecks known to humanity. This gallery offers a fascinating glimpse into the unfolding of events that happened when this warship belonging to British Royal Navy was sent to capture the Bounty pirates. You will need to allocate a minimum of one hour to enjoy this exhibition. The intriguing collection of artifacts tell their tales. Experience the frantic frenzy in the confined wooden enclosure as the inmates are trying to plot their escape from the sinking ship. The watch that belonged to the surgeon of Pandora, Dr. George Hamilton, the fireplace from the Captain’s cabin, the human remains recovered from the wreck; all take the visitors back in time to the unfortunate day on warship’s deck. Watch the extraordinary efforts of the Queensland museum’s crew in excavating this wreck over 20 years through numerous expeditions. The museum offers guided tours every day to offer an in-depth experience of this significant but tragic incident.
A wonderful exhibit for children as it offers an entertaining and educative walkthrough through one of the earliest ecological environment on earth, the rainforests. This exhibition has remodeled a northern Queensland rainforest with beautiful light effects replicating all the flora and fauna that live there. Experience the inhabitants of the rainforest and identify the ones you can recognize. Children can appreciate the excellent recreation of a rope bridge, a slide, and a quandong tree. Visitors can get an insight into the aboriginal life within the rain forests through the array of artifacts displayed in the exhibition.
The great gallery holds a recreated model of the warship HMS Pandora. This impressive replica lets you get up close with the interiors of the ship, the decks, the galleys and how they were used. Blueprint of the ship in 2D can be witnessed on the carpet of the gallery. The 1.9m high and 2.6m long replica built on a scale of 1:24 is the outcome of tedious efforts spanning 7000 hours.
Get a feel of the tropical environments of northern Queensland ranging from pre-historic times to the modern era. This interactive exhibition comprises of smaller displays engaging the visitors with its intriguing exhibits. Explore the pre-historic giant reptiles that inhabited the ocean waters in the pre-historic age. Discover the diverse deep-sea life that is mysterious and interesting. Experience the marine life that inhabits and makes the Great Barrier Reef so unique.
The museum has a rich collection of artifacts and objects that depict the culture and history of Queensland. The collections can get classified into social history, archaeology, indigenous cultures, and science & technology. The archaeology section showcases the artifacts and objects that explore the life & culture of aboriginals and inhabitants of Torres Strait. The artifacts from the indigenous cultures from all over the world, including the Pacific and Australia are displayed in the section of indigenous cultures. The social history section is for the day-to-day objects used through the ages which include paintings, utensils, textiles, and costumes. The materials depicting the evolution of medical science and technology get showcased in the Science & Technology section.
How to Get Tickets?
Tickets can be bought at the ticket offices in the Museum or can be purchased online on the official website. You can buy all the tickets from this website too.
How To Get Around?
Explore the Museum and its attractions on foot. However, it may become tiresome so plan your day ahead with what attractions to start with.
What Should I Wear?
You can wear both formal and casual clothes in which you are comfortable. But your clothes shouldn’t be indecent. Make sure you wear comfortable shoes, and you might be walking or standing all through-out your visit.
Best Time to Visit
The museum is open on all days and all year-round excepting on Good Friday, Boxing Day, Christmas Day and Anzac day. As the museum is an enclosed attraction, it can be visited any time during the year.
The official currency of Austraila is the Australian Dollar (AU$).
Will I Need a Guide?
You can find all the necessary related information about the museum on this website that nullifies the requirement of a guide. However, there are numerous guided and pre-recorded tours available at the museum too for your comfort.
How To Get There?
The Museum is located on Finders Street, adjacent to Reef HQ Aquarium in Townsville. You can reach Townsville by car or bus, but the distance to be covered by Road from most of the big cities in Australia is too long. Therefore, the most convenient option is to fly as Townsville has an airport and is well connected to all the major cities of Australia. The Museum is at a walking distance from Finders Mall in the eastern direction.Travel east down the Finders street to find the Museum. You can find parking slots by the street opposite to the Museum. You can catch the Bus 1A from the Finders Mall and alight at the Bus stop in front of the museum.
Admission is free for local residents. Children below 3 have free admission. Children aged between 4 – 15 have to be accompanied by an adult of 18+ year of age. An annual pass allows an unlimited admission into the museum for one full year.